Mack Brown hasn't been Texas' coach since losing 30-7 to Oregon in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30, but now Brown and Texas can officially begin the process of moving on.
Multiple outlets (from Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman to Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News) have reported that Texas and Brown reached a settlement. The specifics of the agreement call for Brown to be paid $500,000 for a one-year deal as a special assistant to university president Bill Powers.
Additionally, Brown will be paid a $2.75 million buyout in four yearly installments of $687,500. That's the amount Brown would be owed if he was terminated as head coach of the Longhorns. That brings Brown's total compensation to $3.25 million—if Brown leaves his new position after one year, that is.
Brown's old contract stated that, in the event he stepped down on his own accord, he would serve as a special assistant until 2020. Using the timeline of Brown's "resignation," that means Texas would have owed him $3.5 million instead.
The $250,000 difference benefits Texas financially speaking, but the terms of the settlement are really best for both sides.
It saves Texas money since the school will be invested in new head coach Charlie Strong. According to Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com, Texas regents approved a five-year deal for Strong last month that pays him $5 million per year in base salary (with $100,000 annual raises) plus incentives. Additionally, the university will pick up the tab for Strong's $4.375 million buyout from Louisville.
For Brown, 62, the settlement opens up other career options. Brown's new job will focus on fundraising, something at which he's always been good. He'll do the glad-handing and the alumni relations thing for a year; after that, don't be surprised if Brown and Texas part ways for good.
Brown is known for his charisma, so a future in television seems like a natural transition. If he moves to the Longhorn Network, he would be paid by ESPN, not Texas.
Brown may also feel the urge to coach again, and you can bet plenty of schools would line up to take him.
Either way, he'll have options. That's not bad for a messy ending.
The public story, of course, is that Brown reached a mutual decision with Texas in December to step down. However, the university is paying Brown as though he was terminated. Couple that with a previous report from the Statesman that Brown was angling for a larger buyout and it provides more ammo to the notion that Brown's decision to step down was not entirely his.
Not to mention Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports previously reported that Brown was, in fact, forced out.
Brown's 16 years at Texas may not have ended like he or the university previously envisioned. That's unfortunate, but it's the reality of what four consecutive disappointing seasons will do. It was time for a change.
Money, and the abundance of it, can oftentimes be problematic in figuring out how to make that change. Texas and Brown came to an agreement on that front. Now, both sides can officially move on.
Ben Kercheval is the lead writer for Big 12 football.
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